Photo by Helen Ngoc N. via Unsplash

As Seattle continues to assert itself as an environmentally progressive city, a new kind of sustainable living effort is being pioneered.

Sustainable Living Innovations (SLI), a building technology company based in Seattle, has broken ground on their latest project, 303 Battery. The building, located at Battery Street and 3rd Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, is being hailed as the world’s first Net Zero Energy multi-family tower. 

Described as an “urban infrastructure ecosystem” by SLI, 303 Battery integrates advances in technology and sustainability to save energy, water and construction time. 

“The 303 Battery Building is on the leading edge of green design and construction, helping us to meet Seattle’s climate goals and create a healthier city, while also addressing our affordable housing crisis,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan  told Scriberr News in an emailed statement.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector are the second largest contributor to climate pollution, and our communities of color regularly bear the disproportionate brunt of its negative impact. As a City, we must do all we can to invest in innovative solutions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” Durkan said.

According to SLI, buildings consume 50% of the world’s energy, 25% of its water, and contribute 33% of greenhouse gas emissions every year. The 303 Battery building will outcompete these numbers, meeting the Net Zero Energy requirements set by the International Living Future Institute. 

“303 Battery sets a new standard for building well-designed and sustainable living spaces,” Arlan Collins, CEO of Sustainable Living Innovations, told Scriberr News in an emailed statement.

303 Battery is slated for certification by the International Living Future Institute as the world’s first Net Zero Energy tower on completion.

In an effort to address housing affordability while advancing sustainability standards, 303 Battery will be 15 stories tall and have 112 apartment units. Twenty-seven of these will be designated affordable apartments. 

“Our proprietary technology, construction process, sustainable materials and smart-living technologies give tenants a beautiful, comfortable home that produces no greenhouse gas emissions,” Collins said.

The building will feature up to 70% recycled steel, an on-site grey water capture and recycle system, and locally manufactured solar panels on the building’s roof and outer walls. 

SLI also utilises smart home technology in the form of SLI Connect, an application which allows tenants to track their water and energy consumption, and control the heating and lighting settings of their apartment to further conserve. 

Despite its high-tech features, which were in development for 12 years, when compared to a traditionally built structure, 303 Battery costs less to build. 

“Even though we are announcing a groundbreaking, in reality, 85% of the walls, floors, stairs and elevators are already complete and in our Tacoma factory,” Collins said.

SLI utilizes specially developed panels, complete with the building’s plumbing, heating and electrical systems installed to cut down on construction time. These are assembled off-site and transported to the on-site location, where workers need less time to put the pieces together, much like a sequenced jigsaw puzzle. 

303 Battery will be comprised of 900 panels. The off-site assembling of these modular panels minimizes time, cost and the carbon footprint of the on-site construction process, according to Collins. 

Because of this assembly method, 303 Battery’s construction will be completed much faster than an average high rise, now that the project has broken ground. After years of planning, what is to be the greenest apartment building in Seattle to date will be move-in ready in 2022.

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